Cup Match host resents being ‛thrown under the bus’ by Premier
St George’s Cricket Club has been granted conditional approval from the Ministry of National Security to proceed with planning to host Cup Match.
The club was granted permission to go ahead with plans via an e-mail sent by the ministry on behalf of Minister of National Security, Renée Ming, which was addressed to St George’s president Neil Paynter on Wednesday evening.
“I write on behalf of the Minister of National Security, Renée Ming, JP, MP, to advise that a conditional approval has been granted to the St George’s Cricket Club to proceed with planning the Cup Match classic,” the letter read.
“Please be advised that once the plan is received, the Ministry of National Security will work expeditiously to review the plan and undertake an assessment with relevant key stakeholders with respect to the maximum capacity and all other public health protocols.”
Meanwhile, Paynter has taken issue to David Burt’s public revelation that his club had received the conditional approval while fielding questions from the media during Tuesday’s Covid-19 press conference.
Paynter believes that the timing of the announcement was inappropriate, as he had been notified of the development shortly before the press conference began, which in and of itself was misleading.
“They [Ministry of National Security] send me the e-mail which comes at 5.26pm and the press conference is at 5.30pm,” he said. “Earl Basden asked the Premier about county cup and Cup Match, and then he basically said St George’s Cricket Club is aware of the document.
“But I don’t want my members or the general public think that St George’s Cricket Club has been sitting on information. The Covid-19 sub-committee has had our application since April 9 and we get an e-mail at 5.26 to state that we have been given a provisional exemption.
“This is a plan they have had since April 9 and we just need to know if it is in accordance with whatever Government’s protocols are.”
Paynter also believes that the Premier’s announcement did his club and its membership few favours.
“I feel that it did an injustice to St George’s Cricket Club because we had only received it at 5.26pm and I hadn’t even shared it with my committee yet,” he said. “My membership and management have to hear during the press conference.
“We had plans in place that once we got the information we wanted to share with our management and then with our members and then the general public on how we are going to move forward.
“I just want the public to know that you’re not throwing St George’s Cricket Club under the bus when we have done our due diligence in trying to get this event off.
“It’s unfortunate that we have had to wait this long because we are a volunteer association and it takes a lot to put Cup Match on and that’s without Covid-19 guidelines.”
St George’s is scheduled to host Cup Match at Wellington Oval on July 29 and 30.
However, Paynter says time is running out to be able to do so.
“We are well into crunch time when it comes to how we traditionally would organise an event like Cup Match,” he added.
“We are not saying that Cup Match is called off; we are going to do everything in our power to get it on.”
Somerset, the cup holders, were scheduled to host last summer’s Cup Match in the West End. However, for the first time in its 118-year history the two-day match was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.